It’s time for Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story to take a break from Charlotte and refocus its efforts on George. In season 1 episode 4, “Holding the King” we learn what the farmer king has been up to since the spinoff began and it’s not pretty.
Fair warning, this episode, as brilliantly written and acted as it was, was difficult to watch.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story Season 1 Episode 4 recap – Mad King?
As the ending of episode 3 plays out with Charlotte trying to clean her out of wits husband, the episode travels back in time to right before George and Charlotte’s wedding. It is here that we learn of George’s ambitions to provide cheaper bread for his people to eat, which includes his hobbies of farming.
His mother, however, won’t hear it, as she demands he marries, so as to produce as heir as soon as possible. Offended and tired of feeling like a stud horse meant for only breeding, George suddenly begins to slip.
His body trembles, he begins to mutter incoherently aloud and soon his mother sends him to the doctors. They have tried nearly everything at this point, including some less than humane means but cannot find a cure to his condition.
George’s mother is desperate for a solution, fearing he’ll be declared insane and locked away. But one doctor seems to have the answer.
At first it seems to be a form of therapy, where he simply takes the time to talk to George, which does snap him out of his fit. But this calm and nurturing means soon turn nefarious and dark.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story Season 1 Episode 4 recap – George’s Perspective
The episode unveils what George has been up to since Charlotte’s arrival, which mostly consists of being subjected to horrific methods from pain to suffering. The doctor believes that these extreme measures are what needs to be done to rid his body of his illness.
George is desperate for a cure especially now that he is married and seems to have already fallen in love with Charlotte. However, his means of pushing her away were not unintentional.
He needed to keep her away until he was cured. This includes the delay in consummating the marriage.
Outside of the doctor and his staff, only Reynolds truly knows what pain and misery George is suffering through. It’s a heavy secret he carries, one that he’s constantly hiding from his lover Brimsley, who is only looking out for Charlotte.
Reynolds, like the audience watching, does not approve of the doctor’s methods but cannot do much to stop it. But not everything in this episode is depressing.
It was quite humorous to see where George found the Pomeranian, he later gifts to Charlotte and even laughs at her response. It was also sweet to see George watch Charlotte from afar, too afraid to approach her until he felt well enough.
It’s truly tragic to see the methods he was subjecting himself to, all for Charlotte. Yet she was completely unaware.
In an interesting twist, George does begin to feel better with his episodes once he spends more time with Charlotte. He’s beginning to believe that he doesn’t need the doctor’s care anymore, which of course displeases the man.
However, as audiences later learn, George does have a incident that Charlotte witnesses but what leads to it is quite interesting. The night of the Danbury Ball, George wakes up and finds the doctor still on the premises.
He’s confused as he ordered him to leave. Turns out Charlotte sought his aid, after learning how George was seeing a doctor that he would not disclose much information about.
The doctor reveals that Charlotte is pregnant. This revelation leads to George’s downward spiral and thus we are all caught up to the end of episode 3.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story Season 1 Episode 4 recap – The Truth
Although Charlotte handled George spectacularly well that night, it doesn’t mean she’s thrilled about it. As George awakens the next morning, he finds Charlotte’s carriage leaving.
She makes an unannounced visit to George’s mother and unloads on her about George. Frankly, Charlotte has every right to be angry.
Everyone hid this secret from her. She was set up to marry a man who is, not mentally well.
Back then anyone who acted different, from extreme acts to odd peculiarities, were considered mad. What they did not know then, is that these illnesses were probably hereditary and could not be cured.
If proper medications existed, his symptoms would ease but there would most likely never be a cure. George’s mother, as strict and overbearing as she can be, is in a tight spot herself.
She loves George and has done everything possible to help him but can’t. She fears what will happen to him and the royal family if an heir is not born.
If Charlotte has to be subjected to her husband’s madness and live a life of misery, in order to George and his family to keep the throne, so be it. George arrives to hear the two women yelling from closed doors and unfortunately returns to the doctor to continue his treatment.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story Season 1 Episode 4 review
Watching George suffer with his illness was heartbreaking to say the least. Even the few times we’ve seen him in Bridgerton, acting erratically and the like, could not have prepared me for this.
However, it’s important that this is shown. This is pivotal to the story, albeit a tragic love story, that needs to be told. It isn’t George’s fault, and the poor man feels incredibly guilty for having to bring any woman into this mess.
However even George’s mother knows that eventually his life would become Charlotte’s responsibility one day. Until then, they had been doing their best to help him.
But now that he’s returning to the doctor, how much worse will his marriage with Charlotte become? How will Charlotte see past the situation she’s in and begin to truly love her husband, faults and all?
With only two episodes left of the season, I’m curious how their love story will continue to unfold. If there is one thing I can positively say after watching this episode, it is this.
What Charlotte and George will have to endure will be far worse than what many dealt with at the time. Since their love lasts well into their elder years, it means the two of them can and did handle anything that came their way.
Somehow, they did, every time.
What did you think of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story season 1, episode 4? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
You can watch Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story season 1 on Netflix.